My dad was pushing me in our conversation. ‘TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED CHARITY. TELL ME.‘ It was one of those conversations that takes you to the edge. Where you get real. I need that kind of truth in my life. That kind of honesty. While doing a river float on the Priest River a friend of mine said, ‘I’m not good at small talk.’ And in prayer you don’t have to small talk with God. You can get straight to it. God asks for honesty in prayer as well. In Phil 4:6-7 God says, ‘let your requests be made known.’ And if you really take him at his word, you’ll ask.
You and I like that seagull walk into prayer with a new found boldness. It helps to know what God wants us to ask for. It gives us momentum in prayer. And knowing how to ask will increase our confidence. James 1 tells us when we ask for wisdom to ‘ask in faith, to ask without doubt.’ The post prayer mental shift is powerful. I’ve prayed about it and asked God for it, therefore it’s good; it’s resolved even before I see evidence.
ASK TOGETHER Ask with others who have faith as well. Acts 1:14 ‘They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.’ Acts 2:1 ‘when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.’
ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT A good example is in Acts 2. Jesus tells them to wait and pray. He tells them to ask for the Holy Spirit. The fire from heaven is coming, but they have a part to play. They must maintain persistence in prayer and ASK. Each one had previously experienced life with Jesus– doing amazing events, miracles, and even witnessed him rise from the dead, yet they were told to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. This was a new audacious ask. And when God answers it brings so much good to the community.
‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.’ 1 Cor 12:7 When we ask for the Holy Spirit we are not asking for only personal gain or good, we see how widespread the impact reaches. There is nothing personally selfish in the ask.
ASK FOR WORKERS Jesus teaches us to ask the Father for others to join us in the work. Matt. 9:37-38 He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”
ASK WITH YOUR FULL ATTENTION In Acts 6:4 God singles out for his work those gave their attention to prayer and to the ministry of God’s word. In our life the importance of focus can not be underestimated. Shoot those distractions. When I was leading a zoom on my front porch the squirrels were obnoxious and aggressive. Jared has an airsoft gun which is working wonders for keeping the peace.
When we ask God practicing the first 4 points we see souls saved, lives changed and this is and always has been the purpose of the church. The bonus we experience is found in Jesus telling us to ask so our joy can be full. Asking is connected to our joy. John 16:24
Other things Jesus tells us to ask for, healing, daily bread, children, nations. Can you add to this list?
Ask for wisdom and rest when you need it. Jer. 6:16 Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the … way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
Hannah asked for a child. 1 Sam 1:27 and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. I asked the LORD to … I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
Ask about it all. Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who … For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds.
ICE BREAKER: DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE IN ASKING GOD AND IT WORKED?